The Fiat 500 may be thoroughly retro in its style – replicating the success that BMW had when it resurrected the iconic Mini back in 2001 – but this is one thoroughly modern machine in the personalisation stakes.
Whether you fancy an affordable, old-school style runaround with classic paint colours, white wheel trims and a body colour gear knob for a rose-tinted homage to the original 500, or a sharply-styled sporty model with digital dials, Fiat can oblige.
As a result, however, choosing the best 500 for your needs can be a baffling decision. Consequently, we’ve trawled through the 500 range to find the best cars for those on a budget, those looking for the most bang for their buck and those who want the maximum amount of high-tech kit crammed into this small city car.
The smart choice for those on a budget – 1.2 Pop
As with many affordable cars, the 500 that will make the most sense to many buyers is the entry-level version, which weighs in at £10,420. This version may do without the alloy wheels and sporty details of more expensive models, but it doesn’t skimp on old-fashioned charm. If anything, the analogue speedometer, styled hubcaps and body-coloured dash of the 1.2 Pop channel the spirit of the original 500 better than the pricier versions.
With a peppy 1.2-litre motor under the bonnet this 500 scampers to 62mph in a reasonable 12.9 seconds, while economy stands at 58.9mpg. CO2 emissions of just 113g/km mean that car tax comes in at an inexpensive £30 per year. Though the Pop does without some equipment you do still get remote central locking, electric door mirrors, seven airbags, a start-stop system and a height adjustable driver’s seat.
The smart choice for value for money – 0.9 TwinAir 85 Lounge
Raise the budget to around £13,000 and you can get your hands on the 0.9-litre 85 Lounge. The engine may be miniscule, but it pumps out a healthy 84bhp, meaning that it can accelerate to 62mph in a sprightly 11.0 seconds. Claimed fuel economy is also impressive at 70.6mpg – though drivers may struggle to hit this figure on real roads – with CO2 emissions being low enough to warrant free car tax.
In Lounge trim the 500 features all the essential kit you could want, including air conditioning, Bluetooth, electric heated door mirrors, 15-inch alloy wheels and split-folding rear seats. This 500 may cost substantially more than the car above, but you get a lot more equipment for your money.
The smart choice for technophiles – 0.9 TwinAir 105 Cult
If you’re after a chic but sophisticated 500, you’ll be wanting the 0.9 105 Cult. While Cult trim includes loads of luxuries on the inside, the exterior remains beautifully retro. What’s under the bonnet though, is thoroughly modern, as the turbocharged 0.9-litre engine offers up 104bhp – more than enough to launch this lightweight machine to 62mph in a nippy 10.0 seconds.
Warranting the title as the choice for technophiles, Cult specification includes leather upholstery, a seven-inch media system, rear parking sensors, climate control and 16-inch alloy wheels. Also included are 50:50 split rear seats, a glass roof and seven airbags.